Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bento Care in Summer

In this bento are chicken karaage, fried sweet potato, cherries, asparagus tossed with ume and shoyu, shoyu egg halves and konnyaku. These days, I prefer simple karaage seasoned with only salt, black pepper and lemon juice to normal one with shoyu, garlic and ginger. Yuppi really is a big fan of karaage and always like this. *Mama, get me some karaage at konbini!* Since I'm not a fan of convenience store's karaage, I often need to make one for her. Every kid loves fried chicken, don't they? Yuppi is not a kid anymore though.

For this one, I made tompeiyaki (okonomi-styled omelet), daigakuimo, broccoli stir-fried with ume, sesame seeds and salt, and a wakame omusubi.

Asparagus and egg stirfry, pork slices tossed in shoyu and karashi, satsumaage (kamaboko) sauteed with shoyu, mirin and butter, and broiled mayo-cheese chicken tender.

Of course, I didn't forget to put ice packs on these bentos. Today I want to write what I try to do besides ice packs to keep our bentos from spoiling.

1). Not to put raw vegetable (especially greens) on bento foods without dividers.
2). To use antibacterial foods and spices.
3). To drain liquid of foods well before packing.
4). To pack foods in bento boxes after cooling.
5). To use insulated lunch bags. (On a very hot day.)

These are not new and are common, but I still tend to forget to do. I decided to write down here as a reminder for myself.
As to antibacterial items, I sometimes use wasabi, karashi, umeboshi, mustard, vinegar, honey, etc as seasoning too.
It is said that the antibacterial constituents of karashi, mustard, wasabi, horseradish are so powerful and volatile a little addition of one of them to a bento food can cover the whole bento. By the way, for bento foods, I rarely use strong smelling stuff such as garlic.

So what are things you try to do for bento safety?

Our local Rilakkumas. Featuring the local products, ika (a squid) and marimo (a green moss ball).
Our local Rilakkuma and Korilakkuna

Adorable twins.
Okame twins

Primula juliana and lilly of the valley. From May.
Juliana and Lilly of the valley

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bento Unfriendly Season

I have lots and lots of pictures to post, but for now, only a few of them. This bento is for today. In the bento are a shumai dumpling, broccoli tossed with okaka, oil and salt, syoyu pork (which I parboiled and then cooked in shoyu, mirin and grated ginger), and broiled salmon on rice.

It's the bento-unfriendly season right now maybe in the northern hemisphere, because of the summer heat. In Japan, plus the extreme humidity. There are some things I try to do in order to prevent bento foods from spoiling. I've never gotten any complaints from my family about their bentos spoiled. Not sure if it's just because they are insensitive or something and don't notice even if their lunches are spoiled though lol. Anyway, I think the shortest and easiest way to keep bentos safe is to use ice packs which come with cake. Keeping food cool after all. In addition to that, consuming food as soon as possible is also important. Next time, I'm going to write about some items as well that I try to use or not to use for bento to prevent bacteria from growing in bento boxes.
ちょうど今、お弁当にはちょっと大変なシーズンですね。多分北半球全域かしら。高温プラス湿度で食べ物の発酵指数が一気に上昇する様な気がします。幸いにも、今まで一度もお弁当が腐ってたっていう苦情を受けたことがありません。ただ単にあの人たちが鈍感で気付かないまんま食べてしまってるだけかも!? それでもやっぱりお弁当を安全に保つ為にいくつか注意している点はあります。一番手っ取り早いのは保冷剤を使うこと。ケーキに付いて来るやつを再利用。夏場は食べ物を涼しく保つ。作ったらなるべく早く食べる。これが優先課題。他にいくつか心がけていることは次回に!




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